The Beast (2009 TV series)

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The Beast
Genre Crime drama
Created by Vincent Angell
William Rotko
Written by Vincent Angell
Mark Goffman
Raymond Hartung
William Rotko
Wendy West
Directed by John Badham
Sanford Bookstaver
Jeremiah S. Chechik
Michael Dinner
Ken Girotti
Charles Haid
Christopher Leitch
Christine Moore
Lisa Niemi
Steve Shill
Tom Verica
Michael W. Watkins
Starring Patrick Swayze
Travis Fimmel
Theme music composer W. G. Snuffy Walden
Composer(s) W. G. Snuffy Walden
A. Patrick Rose
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 13 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Vincent Angell
Cory Concoff
Allan Loeb
Steven Pearl
John Romano
William Rotko
Producer(s) Lynn Raynor
Editor(s) Bill Johnson
Rob Seidenglanz
Debra Weinfeld
Cinematography Roy H. Wagner
Running time 43 min
Production company(s) Sony Pictures Television
Distributor A&E Television Networks
Broadcast
Original channel A&E
Picture format 480i (SDTV),
720p (HDTV)
Original run January 15, 2009 (2009-01-15) – April 23, 2009 (2009-04-23)
External links
Website

The Beast is an American crime drama starring Patrick Swayze and Travis Fimmel. The series, which only ran for one season, debuted on A&E Network. It was Swayze's final acting performance before he died from pancreatic cancer in 2009. Despite receiving largely positive reviews from critics, it garnered only lukewarm viewing figures.[1]

Plot[edit]

FBI agent Charles Barker applies controversial techniques in his attempts to bring criminals to justice, which often border on illegal and unsettle his uninitiated partner, Ellis Dove. Over the course of the first season, Barker is investigated by fellow FBI agents for alleged misconduct. Dove's loyalty to his partner is challenged when internal affairs agent Ray Beaumont (Larry Gilliard) approaches him to gain information. Shortly thereafter, Dove learns of darker secrets in Barker's past.

Main characters[edit]

Charles Barker (Patrick Swayze) is a veteran FBI agent, and an expert at going undercover, gaining the confidence of criminals and setting them up for a long hard fall in prison. As skilled an actor as he is a cop, Barker has a rookie agent under his wing, Ellis Dove, and Barker acts as Ellis's acting coach, trainer, and mentor. Apparently a patriot whose loyalty should go unquestioned, though his superiors think he has been seduced by the dark side. In the pilot episode, it is revealed that he is fluent in Russian and that he is being investigated by the FBI.

Ellis Dove (Travis Fimmel) is a rookie FBI agent and Charles Barker's trainee in the undercover trade. Under intense pressure from Barker to become a chameleon, Ellis never knows when Barker will send him on some impossible little test, some on-the-spot improv that may or may not cost him his life. Stressed, tense, under impossible performance pressure, Ellis needs a break. However that's not the worst of it. An Internal Affairs team is trying to recruit Ellis to spy on his mentor Barker whom they feel has gone rogue.

Harry Conrad (Kevin J O'Connor) appears to be Barker's control agent at the FBI, and he's supervising Ellis as well. As a seasoned professional, he knows Barker well enough to speak to him in terse personal code—but for newbie Ellis, he needs to spell things out, including his deep respect for Barker's work.

Rose Lawrence (Lindsay Pulsipher) is Ellis's neighbor, with whom he shares a romantic relationship. A law student, she is sharp enough to spot something odd about Ellis (who keeps his job a closely guarded secret) and takes the relationship slowly.

Ray Beaumont (Larry Gilliard) is a fellow FBI Agent who is investigating Charles Barker. Sly and sneaky in his ways, he attempts to use Ellis to get information to help make his case that Barker is dirty.

Episodes[edit]

Episode # Title Directed by Written by Original air date Viewers (in millions)
1 "Pilot" Michael Dinner Vincent Angell, William Rotko January 15, 2009 (2009-01-15) 2.45
The mischievous Barker hazes Dove as they go undercover on their first case to infiltrate a weapons smuggling ring.
2 "Two Choices" Michael Dinner William L. Rotko January 22, 2009 (2009-01-22) 1.55
Barker and Ellis are assigned to take down a major drug trafficking ring.
3 "Nadia" Christine Moore Vincent Angell January 29, 2009 (2009-01-29) 1.35
Barker and Ellis take on one of the nastiest and sleaziest rackets in the world--human trafficking.
4 "Infected" John Badham Ray Hartung February 5, 2009 (2009-02-05) N/A
Barker's old pal, Marcus, a security guard at ritzy jewelry store, gets Barker and Ellis involved in a nerve-wracking case involving millions of dollars and a deadly virus.
5 "Bitsy Big-Boy" Michael W. Watkins Vincent Angell February 12, 2009 (2009-02-12) N/A
May Nan Nhung, a top nuclear physicist, has been doing some dangerous research, and now somebody's trying to kill her.
6 "Hothead" Sanford Bookstaver John Romano February 19, 2009 (2009-02-19) N/A
There's nothing more dangerous than an FBI agent who's gone rogue, and Frank Oland may be one of them.
7 "Capone" Ken Girotti Wendy West February 26, 2009 (2009-02-26) N/A
A fellow agent vanishes, sending Barker undercover to infiltrate a group of Latino drug dealers who may have something to do with the man's disappearance. Lou Diamond Phillips guest stars.
8 "Mercy" Tom Verica Mark Goffman & William L. Rotko March 5, 2009 (2009-03-05) N/A
Homeless veterans are being murdered, sending Barker undercover as a homeless man to investigate. Ellis, a veteran himself, takes the case very personally.
9 "The Walk In" Jeremiah S. Chechik Mark Goffman March 19, 2009 (2009-03-19) N/A
Barker and Ellis investigate a Chinese spy posing as a university professor. Adding difficulty to the probe is a fellow agent who doubts Ellis' abilities and attempts to sabotage his work.
10 "Tilt" Charles Haid William L. Rotko, Keith Schreier March 26, 2009 (2009-03-26) N/A
Barker and Ellis infiltrate a high-stakes poker game to sniff out the assassin who's after an informant who's about to enter the witness protection program. Features the song "Raspberry Rush" by The Promise Ring.
11 "My Brother's Keeper" Lisa Niemi Vincent Angell & Wendy West April 9, 2009 (2009-04-09) N/A
Barker goes after an Irish crime family seeking to expand their business from Chicago to Wall Street. Directed by series star Patrick Swayze's wife, Lisa Niemi.
12 "Counterfeit" Chris Leitch Mark Goffman & Ray Hartung April 16, 2009 (2009-04-16) N/A
Having been set up as a murderer, Barker finds himself on the lam, and the Bureau has a relentless agent hunting him down.
13 "No Turning Back" Steve Shill Vincent Angell, William Rotko April 23, 2009 (2009-04-23) N/A
Barker gets a list of six names of people who were involved in the Red Gauntlet operation, and he and Ellis, with help from Todd and Conrad, must track them down before they can get to Barker.

Reception[edit]

Alan Sepinwall writes "... you watch Swayze in The Beast, and you realize that this is the best performance of his career—that the opportunity to play a part like this, and to play it as well as he is, may be fueling his ability to keep fighting against the cancer. And you realize, in an odd silver lining, that the cancer may, in turn, be fueling the performance".[2] The New York Times reported that "Patrick Swayze's performance... is impressive for its resistance to cliché...".[3]

Suzan Young of RealNetworks stated that, "Patrick Swayze gives the performance of a lifetime as the hard-edged FBI agent Charles Barker in A&E's The Beast".[4]

In his review, Ray Richmond of The Hollywood Reporter stated that, "Beast has a far grittier feel and look than one would suspect from a show starring Swayze—not to mention one on A&E. The action often is energetic and intriguing but is sometimes brought down by Fimmel's uneven performance. …What's unmistakable is the killer work of the star. May the man somehow beat the odds and fight defiantly on".[5]

Kelly West of Cinema Blend reported that, "For an original series, I think A&E has something great on their hands. The Beast is definitely drama series with an edge, showing the darker, grittier side to FBI undercover work".[6]

Ken Tucker writes that the lines said by the "antihero" and main character "[were] old when Clint Eastwood was Dirty Harry". Tucker adds that the co-star (Travis Fimmel as Ellis Dove) gives "inexpressive line readings; he's here because he's young and pretty (Fimmel was a model), and he fits A&E's desired viewing demo. Ellis is the newbie who earns Barker's respect...". Overall, Tucker grades the program as a "C".[7]

DVD release[edit]

Sony Pictures released the series on Region 1 DVD in the United States on August 18, 2009.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Beast: Patrick Swayze TV Show Cancelled, No Season Two". tvseriesfinale.com. June 6, 2009. Retrieved March 24, 2014. 
  2. ^ Sepinwall, Alan (13 January 2009). "Sepinwall on TV: 'The Beast' review". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved 1 April 2009. 
  3. ^ Bellafante, Ginia (14 January 2009). "Down So Long: The Undercover Life Taught Here". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 April 2009. 
  4. ^ Young, Susan (15 January 2009). "Review: Patrick Swayze Gives All in The Beast". RealNetworks. Retrieved 1 April 2009. 
  5. ^ Richmond, Ray (12 January 2009). "TV Review: The Beast". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 1 April 2009. [dead link]
  6. ^ West, Kelly (28 December 2008). "TV Review: The Beast". Cinema Blend. Retrieved 1 April 2009. 
  7. ^ Tucker, Ken (7 January 2009). "The Beast". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 1 April 2009. 
  8. ^ "The Beast - Sony's Formal Press Release for Patrick Swayze's Series on DVD". tvshowsondvd.com. 2009-06-23. Retrieved 9 December 2009. 

External links[edit]